Dietary changes may be necessary
Another instigator contributing to your GI problems as a runner can be your diet. Although trigger foods can vary from one person to another, some foods known to frequently irritate the GI tract are: wheat products, dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables, fiber, caffeine or artificial sweeteners. It is suggested that on a day of exercise to avoid caffeine and hot drinks. And, on the previous day, to not eat known intestinal triggers or gas-producing foods (Bolin).
Susan’s tips are to: Try eliminating common trigger foods from your diet. Keep a food log to correlate diet with any episodes. Include everything you eat or drink and the time of day it’s ingested. Note any links between food, drinks, and incidents. Discuss the results with your physician.
Also, the time of day you eat can impact bowel issues during running. Bolin suggests no eating for two hours before the run. Susan’s helpful tips are:
- Time your meals with your runs to re-train your body clock to eliminate before you run.
- Eat 4 or 5 smaller meals throughout the day rather than 2 or 3 larger ones.
- Eat earlier in the evening before a planned morning run.
Suggested foods that can be eaten by many during bouts of diarrheal episodes include bananas, white rice, white bread, pancakes or pasta, mashed potatoes, steam, baked or broiled chicken or lean meat, yogurt, chicken broth, oatmeal, Farina, cream of wheat, peeled/seeded/cooked vegetables, pretzels and sports drinks (Bolen). Susan’s input isthe need to clarify dietary choices with your physician to help avoid prolonged bouts of cramping and diarrhea.